July 16 2013

My Hugo 2013 Votes

Here are my picks for the 2013 Hugo awards. You can follow the links where I have posted reviews for individual works. In each category, you can rank your preferences (1 being best). They encourage you not to vote for categories in which you have no experience (don’t just guess in other words). I’ve read (or watched or seen as appropriate) everything that I voted on. I didn’t individually review everything.

Best Novel

Best Novella

  • San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)

Best Novelette (The Novelette category seemed to be particularly strong to me. These were all really good stories and ranking was fairly hard.

  • “In Sea-Salt Tears”, Seanan McGuire (Self-published)
  • “Rat-Catcher”, Seanan McGuire ( A Fantasy Medley 2, Subterranean)
  • “The Boy Who Cast No Shadow”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Postscripts: Unfit For Eden, PS Publications)
  • “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris)
  • “Fade To White”, Catherynne M. Valente ( Clarkesworld, August 2012)

Best Short Story

  • “Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)
  • “Mantis Wives”, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, August 2012)
  • “Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard ( Clarkesworld, June 2012)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • The Avengers, Screenplay & Directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios, Disney, Paramount)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, Directed by Peter Jackson (WingNut Films, New Line Cinema, MGM, Warner Bros)
  • Looper, Screenplay and Directed by Rian Johnson (FilmDistrict, EndGame Entertainment)
  • The Cabin in the Woods, Screenplay by Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon; Directed by Drew Goddard (Mutant Enemy, Lionsgate)
  • The Hunger Games, Screenplay by Gary Ross & Suzanne Collins, Directed by Gary Ross (Lionsgate, Color Force)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form(I haven’t seen the “Game of Thrones” entry–that is why it does not appear here.)

  • Fringe, “Letters of Transit”, Written by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Akiva Goldsman, J.H.Wyman, Jeff Pinkner. Directed by Joe Chappelle (Fox)
  • Doctor Who, “The Snowmen”, written by Steven Moffat; directed by Saul Metzstein (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan”, Written by Steven Moffat, Directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks”, Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Lou Anders
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • Toni Weisskopf

Best Fan Writer

  • Mark Oshiro

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Chuck Wendig*
  • Stina Leicht*
  • Mur Lafferty*
  • Zen Cho*
  • Max Gladstone
July 12 2013

2013 Hugo Short Stories

There are three entries in the Best Short Story category for the 2013 Hugo awards.

  • “Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard ( Clarkesworld, June 2012)
  • “Mantis Wives”, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, August 2012)
  • Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)

The short story category has only three nominees as, to be nominated:

No nominee shall appear on the final Award ballot if it received fewer nominations than five percent (5%) of the number of ballots listing one or more nominations in that category, except that the first three eligible nominees, including any ties, shall always be listed.

So, either there were no other nominees with 5 or greater percent of the vote or these were the top three.

In “Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu has crafted a very good story about life, death and sacrifice. We see the story from the point of view of Hiroto. Hiroto tells us of his present in a lightsail generation ship launched from Earth. Hiroto tells us of his past as a child and learning of the disaster in an asteroid that is going to strike Earth. People react both poorly and well and Hiroto tells us something of what he thinks it means to be Japanese.

I am not sure I would really term “Mantis Wives” a short story and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t. It anthropomorphizes the Mantis and various sorts of the mating habits of the female. It is very short and may have been saying something else, but then maybe not.

“Immersion” is a decent story about the effects of technology and cultural impingement. It is set in the same universe as Bodard’s “On a Red Station Drfting.” It didn’t really succeed in sparking my interest. That doesn’t mean it won’t be of interest to someone else, of course.